Family-bands that tour the countryside have always been associated with the worst kind of stereotype, conjuring painful images of cheesy lyrics about “sticking together,” a lot of frolicking, too many harmonies and the occasional concertina. This stereotype, while it accurately describes many musicians that shared DNA in the early 20th century, has gradually been replaced by a more “modern” approach – especially on the indie scene of South-East Asia. Cast off the images of strangely dressed relatives bopping around to a piano accordion, and get acquainted with the slick, dark musical stylings of B-Quartet. Appearing on the SEA Absolute Indie Compilation in October 2011, the band members (Bani Faizal, Bani Haykal, Bani Hidir, Luqman Hakim, Siraaj Anwa and Bani Raizan, who are all related in one way or another) project an indefinable sense of musical telepathy; the type that echoes through their back-catalogue in waves of flawless jazz, folk and rock melodies that will suck you in, and take you on a journey of dark fantasies not easily forgotten.
Where have you guys been playing recently?
Recently we’ve been doing a few less shows. There are a couple of shows in KL which we’ve done in the past with the help of friends, but mostly our performances have been based in Singapore. Earlier this year, we played at Mosaic Music Festival at The Esplanade where we opened for Chicago based band, Tortoise. We’re actually doing a couple more shows this year, after which we’ll go into an indefinite hiatus.
Where does the name B-Quartet come from?
We’re a set of brothers who are cousins, our surname is Bani. There’s 4 of us, therefore, B-quartet!
Does the fact that you are all brothers and cousins factor into the production of your music?
We have our creative differences…
Name a band that sounds the complete, polar opposite to you guys.
Guns N’ Roses!
Best and worst live performing experience?
We recently did one of our last few shows at The Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, and I think as a band we unanimously felt it was an awesome show. Also a terrible one as our bassist, Luqman, suffered a serious fall – injuring his right leg pretty bad.
What was the first album you bought – and the most recent?
For me personally, my first album was the Clapton Chronicles. The most recent would probably be Anthony Braxton: 4 Compositions (Quartet).
What can fans expect to see from B-Quartet next, apart from the SEA Indie Compilation, due for release on October 18th?
We’re performing with Saycet and White Shoes and The Couples Company on November 8th. However, I am doing a solo performance for the UpToTheSky festival on December 3rd.
Listen to B-Quartet on their MySpace.
Listen to Bani Haykal on his MySpace.
Check out B-Quartet + White Shoes and The Couples Company + Saycet concert here.
More information on UpToTheSky Festival here.
By Stephanie Meyer